You can’t change people’s minds through anger

At the age of five, on an overnight visit to my Grandparents' house, I was fed up. Missing my own bed, I decided at 7 PM to walk the 63 miles back home in the dark rather than spending the night with them. I announced this to my Grandpa, put on my little red jacket, and headed for the door.

My Grandpa loves telling this story. I’ve heard it enough times at family gatherings that the scene is burned into my mind from an observer’s point of view. My small hand stretches…

Don’t worry, the alternative is much better

I have great news! You will never “find yourself.” Not the way you’ve been told you could.

This is not something to be concerned about. It just means that you have to start playing by new rules.

Everywhere we look, western society feels broken. We eat 20% of our meals in our cars, after buying crap food in drive-thrus that’s designed to be eaten with one hand. The food industry has disconnected food from essential nutrients in favor of insane levels of taste, and it…

Simplify, simplify, simplify

“The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods.”

-Cheryl Strayed

On April 28th, 1967, Muhammad Ali’s application to opt-out of the Vietnam War draft as a conscientious objector was denied. He still refused to go fight in Vietnam, saying:

“I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is right here. …

A Cautionary Tale

A few days ago, my Dad told me a story from his time volunteering in the local Bingo Hall, about a cantankerous old woman who came in to play every week. (She wouldn’t have stood out to me as a kid, I remember being dragged along, thinking that all The Bingo Hall creatures were as weird as the ones in Mos Eisley Spaceport) “A more wretched hub of scum and villainy…”.

Ahem. I’m off topic.

Most gamblers are superstitious, but this woman was on a whole ‘nother level. She believed that her “pickles” (little lottery card things) should be…

Need motivation? Seek out terrible writing.

It seems like I run across five posts a day online with titles like this:

Should You Write Every Day?

The Five Life-Changing Benefits of Writing Every Day!

Write Every Day or You’re a Pile of Human Waste.

They’re always backed up by quotes from Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Gandhi, or the Lord Themselves.

This doesn’t seem like the first thing we should be telling new writers, does it? People who are just starting out need perspective and encouragement, not a potentially impossible standard.

In Tim Ferris’s interview with Cheryl…

Thank you for reading Lisa! And for taking the time to make my day with your lovely compliment :)

We’re living in their modern dystopia

In December of 1951, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and his med school friend Alberto Granado set out on a motorcycle trip that would take them from Argentina to Venezuela over the next eight months. They’d go through five countries, sleeping on floors, hitchhiking (after they finally had to sell their motorcycle La Poderosa II for scrap in Chile), and living/working with the people they met along the way.

They’d visit Machu Picchu, where Che would learn that American archaeologists had packed up Incan artifacts and shipped them back to the US. …

Travel. Mindful Traveling.

Eating, praying, and loving are fine. Just not as your only reason for travel.

“To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves — there lies the great, the singular power of self respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.

-Joan Didion

In 2019, halfway through my post-graduation trip in Southeast Asia, my traveling companion’s Dad’s then-girlfriend graciously bought our grungy backpacker bodies two nights in a 5-star resort. We had California King beds, 24-hour room service, and even a personal Butler! Men wearing ties would bring you towels on the beach…

Life goes on

Almost 10 years ago, when I was working at a retirement home as a dishwasher, my co-workers and I were given a piece of advice from a man named Ernie on his 103rd birthday. I didn’t know Ernie very well. He was quiet. A large piece of his jaw had been replaced in an operation several years before.

Speaking was a challenge, but he was always smiling. He’d be laughing at his table during dinner time, as one of his friends spun a joke. Before his birthday, I’d probably exchanged no more than five words with him.

It was a…

Diamonds aren’t forever, or a girl’s best friend.

My friends Micah and Rachelle had the best wedding in human history. They had it in a city park, barefoot, surrounded by a little over 100 friends and family.

There was a pinata because they damn well wanted one. The whole thing was catered by a local Mexican restaurant and cost less than $5,000. They spent the money they had left over on a camping-road-trip honeymoon.

They’re some of the thriftiest people I’ve ever met. Someone gave them a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card at their wedding six years ago, and they still haven’t gone to use it. Not…

Aaron Nichols

Full-time educator, part-time vagabond. If you like what you’ve read, consider signing up for The Well-Lived Life:

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